Bio (Valerie Nishi)

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Valerie Nishi

Valerie Nishi


Associate Faculty


Professional and Continuing Studies


Dr. Valerie Nishi is principal of Tidewater Leadership and an associate consultant with Refinery Leadership Partners. She works with international collaborators to design environments and experiences that shift people’s perspectives, choices, actions and outcomes. Her practice includes organizational and leadership development, education, research, facilitation and coaching. Nishi’s research explores organizational aesthetics, arts-based interventions and navigating liminal space in complex systems. She experiments with interdisciplinary design to unlock more conscious and creative approaches to transforming ourselves and our world.


With 25 years of business experience in the telecommunications, energy and professional services sectors, Nishi has led teams in marketing, strategic planning, service development, talent management and consulting. As co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Foundation, Nishi and her team delivered leadership forums engaging more than 3,000 participants. She currently serves on the board of Dream Rider Productions, empowering youth to be environmental leaders with measurable impact.


Valerie holds a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems (2015) and a Master of Arts in Organizational Development (2013) from Fielding Graduate University, an MBA from the University of British Columbia (1990), and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Victoria (1986). She is a Leadership Calgary alumni and is certified in the Leadership Circle 360 and the Learning in Action Emotional Intelligence assessments.